By the time William Burnett Stokely, Jr. moved his family’s canning plant to Indianapolis in 1933, Stokely Brothers & Co., started by William’s mother, Anna, had been in existence for thirty-five years and was likely a household name.  The move, first from its origins in Tennessee, then to Kentucky, and finally to Indianapolis, was prompted by a merger with the Indianapolis-based Van Camp canning and food packaging company, in operation since 1861.  The merger was a result of Van Camp’s lingering sales during the depression.  It could be reasonably inferred the deal was brokered by William’s brother, George, who, in 1908, traveled to Indianapolis to learn about modern canning techniques from the Van Camp company.